ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Gaelan Patterson picked up the shootout winner and Carter Bancks tied the game late in regulation as the Abbotsford Heat edged the Houston Aeros 3-2 in American Hockey League action Monday night.
Patterson went high glove-side on Aeros starter Jeff Hackett for the winner as the Heat completed the come from behind win.
“I noticed (Hackett) was backing in quite a bit so I came in, I was thinking deke, and I just kind of blacked out and shot it,”said Patterson.“It feels good for sure, but we didn’t have the start we wanted. We addressed that before the game, so we’re kind of upset about that.
“There’s definitely room for improvement.”
The first 40-minutes was a special teams battle as the two teams combined for three goals with the man advantage.
Houston (6-5-2) opened the scoring with the man advantage, near the midway mark of the first, as Cody Almond managed to bat a bouncing puck past Heat starter Leland Irving.
Jean-Michel Daoust’s power-play marker, early in the second, gave the Aeros a 2-0 lead as the Houston forward beat Irving glove side with a wrist shot from the bottom of the face-off circle.
“I thought in the first period we came out an executed the way we’re supposed to,”said Aeros head coach Mike Yeo.“It’s been a bit of a pattern for us where we do a good job of going out and set the tone, but there has been a couple times where we’ve gotten up and we’ve been reluctant to play (with the lead).”
Heat (8-6-1) rookie Greg Nemisz got the Heat to within one, on the power play, as he banked a shot off the back of Hackett from behind the goal line.
Late in the second, Cam Cunning had an excellent chance to even things at two. The Heat forward had Hackett going the other way, but missed the top corner with a wrist shot.
With just under 90 seconds remaining the Heat pulled Irving looking for the equalizer and were successful as Bancks picked up his third of the season.
Bancks picked up a cross-ice feed from Nemisz and beat Hackett with just 33-seconds remaining to force overtime.
“We didn’t come out well and that’s something we’re going to address, we’ve got to take care of that,”said Bancks.“I think it showed the character we have, the first two periods weren’t our best, but we played our hearts out in the third and found a way to get the job done.
“Sometimes you need wins like that and it feels great right now.”
Irving made 26 saves picking up his seventh win of the season while Hackett made 31 saves in a losing cause.